Thursday, January 31, 2008

Loco Boulevard

There's a one mile stretch of Highway 434 in the Longwood/Wekiva area that has become a hotspot for men who want to showcase their fanciest outfits for motorists stuck in rush hour traffic. In the past 6 weeks, I've had the pleasure of seeing a grown man dressed as a teapot, another dudded up as the Statue of Liberty, and one more channeling Juan Valdez - shirtless, but wearing a sombrero, nonetheless.

It's worth noting, these were 3 different guys and only one was holding a business sign, so as to indicate his garb was for profit and not pleasure.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What are the odds?

...Both guys have the great idea of opening waffle businesses, and by chance, they come up with almost identical yellow signs with scrabble-type letters. Amazing! Good thing one guy took the time to add the "Registered" symbol AND mention the fact that it is "The Original" so that nobody can ever steal the amazing brand he obviously created without any help. Since the concept seems to be catching on, though, could it be long before the "Waffle Yard" arrives in town? Or how about "Waffle Alley"?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is it a strip mall or a college campus? Hooray - In Orlando, it can be both!

Everyone knows we're saturated as far as tourism goes, but now it seems we're just about maxed out on institutions of higher learning, as well. Heck, even Barry has his own University, so could a "College of Frank and Trevor" be far behind? Whether you're looking for a degree in "Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts" or a certificate in "Medical Insurance Coding", Orlando's got it all:

High Tech Institute, University of Central Florida, Central Florida College, Central Florida Institute Everglades University, City College of Casselberry, DeVry University, Florida Metropolitan University, Florida Technical College, Florida College of Natural Health, Florida College of Integrative Medicine, Herzing College, Full Sail, International Academy of Design and Technology, ITT Technical Institute, Keller Graduate School of Management, Marine Mechanics Institute, Steiner Education, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Orlando Culinary Academy, TechSkills, Universal Technical Institute, University of Phoenix, Valencia Community College,
Seminole Community, and College Rollins College.

So with all these smart people in one place, how do you explain this?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Which is worse: Drinking suntan lotion while driving drunk or punching a horse in the neck?

This sweet-and-innocent-looking young lady is a horse puncher.

Really - she punched a police horse in the neck on Saturday night in Tampa outside a bar. Not particularly relevant, other than the fact that a man named Rick Keller was also listed in the report as having been arrested for an "offense against an animal". How ironic that our U.S. Congressman here in Central Florida is a man named Ric Keller!

Hopefully the "k" missing from the end of our prestigious lawmaker's name is just enough to distance himself from a scandal involving "violating animals."

THAT would be almost as atrocious as a former city councilman being arrested for DUI while drinking suntan lotion at the scene of a crash.

photo courtesy of MSNBC

Who's gonna break the news to the werm guy in Sanford about his bate sign?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Central Florida Health Alert: Please get your Parfumeria Vaccination before traveling to Orlando

It's not quite as serious as SARS, but definitely more of a threat than bird flu.

According to the CDC, parfumeria is caused by the spread of the parfumeroeae bacterium. To reduce risk of exposure, avoid touching anything on, in, or around I-Drive.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ripped from the headlines: "Witnesses said he is a 'no underwear' man"

Thursday night's entertainment on the outskirts of Orlando came free of charge, courtesy of bail bondsman Rico Reed.

The redneck fun began with Reed cornering his perp in downtown Winter Haven - which led to a scuffle that wrapped up with 3 cars totalled and one guy bare-ass naked.

This guy:

According to the story in the Ledger, the whole thing played out like an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, but what really makes it an interesting read are the quotes from witnesses, like this one:

"You see this naked guy getting the crap beat out of him. In a strange way, it was kind of funny."

"Kind of funny"? Don't be such a tough audience! Add a case of Milwaukee's Best and a bonfire and it's the most fun you can have on a weeknight in Polk County.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our tax collector loves money almost as much as he loves quotation marks!

I realize this is a very Seinfeldian topic, but "what's with all the quotation marks?"

I was able to get past the punctuation faux pas, though, when I saw the part about a "more than you would imagine" website. I mean, I've got a pretty good imagination, so I started considering all the possibilities - maybe there were pictures posted of famous people who've filed their taxes in Seminole County (including "Larry the Cable Guy" and Cooter from "Dukes of Hazzard"). Perhaps there were forums with gossip about elected officials and hopefully there were crazy photos of the Tax Collector's holiday party - what if things got so out of control that by the end of the night, Ray Valdes, "1999's Tax Collector of the Year" ended up in an outfit like this?

I RACED back to my house, soooo excited about jumping on the computer to see what this exciting thing was...the thing that promised to be better than a tax collector partially donned in leather.

Not to spoil it for you, too, but the "Seminole County More Than You Can Imagine" website is a total let-down. Instead of pictures of DMV workers giving lap dances, there are applications for hunting and fishing licenses alongside information on the discretionary sales surtax.

"I'm disappointed."

"Very disappointed"

You can quote me on that.

photo courtesy of the Parliment House

From the city that brought you "Princess Mouse Ears with a Veil" in adult sizes, comes more "alternative fashions"...

Let's review the latest trends from the theme park trenches:

Matching outfits for the whole family? Hooray!
White pants, year-round? Yes!
Mouse ear/Top hat combo for the big day? Nothing less!
It's all about looking good from head to toe, which brings me to the topic of shoes. At one point, there was a complete website dedicated to "Unfortunate Theme Park Footwear." Sadly, hasn't posted anything new since 2005, but I can assure you there have been plenty of horrific kicks making their way down Main Street USA since then (everybody remember Helio's fancy Christmas feet?)

Here are a few of Bad Shoe's "Feet that will live in infamy." What? No black Rockports with tube socks?

Hat photos courtesy of Laughing Place Store.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Want to see Lucky Meisenheimer "pop the clutch", yo?

Has it really been 4 days since we set a world record in Orlando? Slow week, I guess.

Fortunately, there is the most fabtackulous event scheduled for Saturday at Heritage Square. This is for the coveted title of "most people simultaneously yo-yo'ing in the same place at the same time."

It's hard to imagine it could get any better than that, right? WRONG! Because Lucky Meisenheimer is going to be there. Yes, THE Lucky Meisenheimer - the Guinness World Record holder for the largest yo-yo collection. Don't be surprised if Will Ferrell is there, as well, because this gala has all the trappings of a really great movie about extreme yo-yo'ing. Can't you just imagine the trailer? "If you liked 'Blades of Glory' and 'Talladega Nights,' you'll love 'Pro-Yo: The Lucky Meisenheimer movie -Hangin' by a String.'
In the off-chance you haven't yet seen the world's largest functional wooden yo-yo (six feet in diameter), it'll be there!

A master Duncan yo-yo demonstrator will also be on hand to show you some "wild yo-yo tricks" including the ever-popular "walk the dog," and "rock the baby." How savage!

Only in Orlando.

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cold Case Files - Orlando Mystery #1274: Lee's Leg Brace

It's the one question I'm asked more than any other..."What's with Lee the Appliance Direct Lady's leg brace?" People have a hard time figuring out:

a) why, after all these years, she hasn't gone to see an orthopedic surgeon.

b) why she doesn't take off the brace for the Appliance Direct TV commercials. Some have argued it doesn't make a good accessory to the green plaid jumper OR the green plaid pantsuit. I disagree, but for the sake of investigative reporting, I got the scoop from the mistress of microwaves via her myspace fan site...

Lee injured her leg while running, so she had it on for the first commercial. Focus groups responded so well that she kept it. Now, years later, the leg has healed, but the brace stays. It's marketing genius at work. I'm sure John Lennon didn't need to wear glasses, but do you think the Beatles would have sold all those records if he had contact lenses? Just something to think about.

In the meantime , if you need more appliance fun, check out Sam rubbing bleach on his face and getting all Wakki NuNu (the good stuff kicks-in at 1:05).

This case is now officially closed.

The Tacky Fab Meal of Choice

Ho-Hum: Florida Grandma arrested for not pulling forward in the McDonald's drive-thru.

Tacky Fabulous: Her order consisted of black coffee and supersized fries. YUM!! The only thing better is a Taco Bell Gordita Supreme with chocolate milk.

pic from Local 6

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's just like golfing St. Andrews - if St. Andrews was in a nightclub on the second floor of an Orlando shopping mall

Glenlivet scotch has set up a 9-hole St. Andrews replica inside Pointe Orlando on International Drive. Does it get any better than putt putt, free samples of scotch, men in plaid skirts, and Van Halen blaring in the background?

The event runs during lunchtime until Friday and doesn't cost anything, but you are asked to make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Don't get the bright idea of drinking up all the samples and then tossing a dollar into the fishbowl. Eric Jenson, the tour's director of operations told the Sentinel, "It's not an open bar for everyone to get hammered, by the way. It's just taste testing." He's on to us.

photo courtesy of WFTV

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Orlando's Tacky Fabulous Award for Good Sportsmanship.

You've really got to like chicken nuggets a lot to camp out overnight in order to win them. That's how it went down at the new Chick Fil-A in Winter Garden where the first 100 people scored a "one free meal every week for a year" coupon. Orlando's chicken lovers came out in droves.

They brought tents.

It rained.

But poultry lovers are a dedicated and powerful force in Central Florida. They let nothing stand in their way.

David Holland was guest #101. You'd probably expect that with his terrible misfortune, he would have lashed out at the WESH reporter who asked for his reaction to not landing a coupon....and David's response would be something like, "Hey Chick Fil-A-holes, thanks for nothing! I could have been watching Appliance Direct infomercials in the comfort of my own home for the past 24 hours."

Instead, David Holland replied politely, "The first 100 customers on this beautiful morning received free Chick-Fil-A. I was not one of them, but I still had a good time sleeping in the rain."

David Holland is the epitome of Orlando class.
(except for that part about sleeping in a tent in a parking lot of a fast food restaurant).

photo couresty of WFTV.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"But I don't know how many yen to bring!"

The tacky fabulous mailbag is overflowing with letters from all over the world, asking the same question: "How much does 'good food' cost in Orlando?"

To help you budget your next vacation, use this as a guide: Meals consisting of "Good Food" run, on average, about $47 per person at restaurants that are open 24 hours. Keep in mind though, that's a breakfast, lunch and dinner special, exclusive to the Orange Blossom Trail. Gooder food could be more expensive as you get closer to the theme parks.

Friday, January 18, 2008

If you're morbidly obese, feel free to vacation here (and die)

Somebody please ring the "Orlando World Record Bell" because we are now home to the world's largest autopsy table. It supports up to 1000 pounds - so go ahead and enjoy those tater tots with cheese and fried pickles at Crooked Bayou!

photo courtesy of Local 6/WKMG

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Orlando's "No Fun" Zone

It’s hard to imagine an Orlando vacation that doesn’t revolve around drugs and hookers, but I’m sorry to tell you it just isn’t going to happen anymore at the intersection of Parramore and Colonial.

That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the most experienced and cost-effective prostitutes can be found just a few miles down the road on South Orange Blossom Trail. I checked, and there’s not a sign to be found, so we can only assume it’s a hooker-friendly area.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fashion, fashion everywhere!

Raise your hand if you know where the fashion district is. If you said “New York” you can put your hand down, dummy. The correct answer is Orlando – South Orange Blossom Trail, to be exact. On any given day you might see Donatella Versace or Ralph Lauren checking out the latest trends in lycra - the staple of Orlando chic.

And no, it’s not just one store. See? It’s fashion!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Move over Family Man, there's a new fat guy in town...and he's hairy.

I think somebody's been to the Family Auto Mart's ad agency, because I see an Orlando automotive marketing strategy that looks pretty familiar. Let's go to the videotape:

Zany spokesperson - Check! Ladies and gentlemen - I present "The Big Diggler"

Clever Motto - Check! "Junk in the Trunk" (or is that the name of the business?)

Uncomfortable Dance - Check! Enjoy it here.

"Unbelievable, never-before-seen specials!!!" - Check! In fact, I just saw a spot for a "Back to School" sale yesterday - January 14. The lack of fresh content must have something to do with the writer's strike - everybody's suffering, even the Big Diggler.
Late night TV show - Check! (Am I the only person in this town who doesn't have a TV show?)

So now I ask you, Orlando business owners, how ya gonna top this?

Words to live by...from an Orlando legend

"Women in bands are always trouble!"

--Mark Wayne, of "Mark and Lorna" fame (in a 1992 Orlando Sentinel interview)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hola and Welcome to Chang's Chinese Grocery, Klaus will be preparing your taxes today...

"Welcome," says Mame Diara or as they say in Swahili – "Bienvenidos!" Or is it "Auf Wiedersen"?'s "Au revoir."

At any rate, when you visit Orlando, don't forget to stop by this authentic African store on the Orange Blossom Trail. Ay, Chihuahua - they've got some great ox tail. And yes, of course, they'll do your taxes, silly!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Hey U.S. Army - your bombs are in my yard..."

"No," (says U.S. Army) "YOUR YARD is on our bombs."

Here's the full story, but more importantly, this reminds me of one of the most tacky fabulous commercials ever.
photo courtesy of Central Florida News 13

Since you can't wear those tacky fab pants anymore, can I borrow them?

Wear these Playboy pants to school in Kissimmee, and you'll get two days suspension.

This is the preferred outfit in Central Florida. School superintendent Ron Blocker is considering making it a mandatory uniform.

Photo courtesy of George Skene/Orlando Sentinel and Lil Princess Tea Parties

If you're craving an orange but you also need a new car, why make two stops?

Save time by heading over to "Tami Auto Sale" on Orange Blossom Trail where they've got a sale on roses, citrus...and they are hiring experienced mechanics.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'll take my Mickey Mouseburger medium-rare, please.

If an image of the Virgin Mary can turn up on a grilled cheese sandwich, is it inconceivable to think your goldfish's tail bears a striking resemblance to Mickey Mouse?

Ask Steve Barrett - he's the guy who spends his life tracking down those hard to find mouse ears. He's got a book and a blog about the "Hidden Mickey's" of Orlando. Here's a great one he sent us - the CD cover of No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom". Can you see it...Can you? Can you?
If not, here's one that's a little less difficult...just check your grocer's freezer!

Fish photo from Tropical Fish International
Burger photo from Here

Friday, January 11, 2008

Most Tacky Fabulous Uniform in Orlando

This is almost an impossible category because of the huge number of contenders, but let's at least consider a few - after all, where else but in Central Florida does somebody get up in the morning and put this on before they punch in?

When I was working at Disney during college, I whined and complained about the polyester shirts and pleated pants that were required of all "Backstage Studio Tour Guides." What can I say - I'm a Jersey chick and I wanted something shorter and tighter with a few rhinestones to bling it up. My bosses, instead, transferred me to the Muppetvision 3D attraction, where I really had something to bitch about - while donning a lab coat, goggles, green painter's cap and the standard-issue orange high tops.

Moving on to Exhibit B - Here's a cast member at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. They're the ones who doll-up little girls to look like fairy princesses. (In the name of research, I called and found out there is no maximum age for the makeover and photo shoot - so my appointment is next Thursday after my pole-dancing aerobics class!)

By the way, if you'd like to dress like a Disney ride attendant, food services worker or monorail operator in the privacy of your own home, there is somebody on eBay actually selling these hot items.
photos courtesy of: (in order) and and somebody's vacation, and the aforementioned somebody on ebay.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

But can you barf a Monet?

Nothing says Sunday quite like church, brunch and pictures of puke!

This Sunday's "only in Orlando" event is brought to you by the Back Booth Bar downtown. It's called "Super Happy Fun Time." Let's all sync our watches because the "vomit art" exhibit opens at 6pm.

If you're not sold on the idea, let me add a little somethin-somethin' to the mix: According to the listing in the Orlando Weekly, the event will feature "bathroom audio installations of pre-recorded conversations, bowels and heaving." Not normally my idea of entertainment, and I'm not even sure what it means, but isn't it about time we all started thinking beyond the theme parks?

Keep in mind folks, culture doesn't come easy or free in Orlando, so this experience is gonna cost you three hard earned bucks.

photo courtesy of katharine tillman:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Insider Tip #67: When visiting Lake Eola, DO NOT LOOK UP!

While I sincerely appreciate the warning from Orlando city officials, I think most of us realize when we venture out into the open air, we face the possibility of falling victim to "bird droppings."

Unless, of course, this sign refers to the fact that the birds, themselves, are dropping...which presents an entirely different safety issue, altogether.

Judging from the look of the it, though, the birds were lining up to be the first to christen it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

When they say "500 Gay Softball Players," they mean "500 Gay Softball Players"

If you don't have the guts to visit the gay landmark/resort that is the Parliament House, that's OK - you can feel almost as naughty just visiting their website. I love the pics and all the fun events they have listed, although I have to admit, as a straight Mom in the 'burbs, I sometimes need to enlist the help of a gay translator.

Thank Goodness for Fred - he's the concierge at the Parliament House, on-call to answer all my stupid questions. Like the other day, when I read about 500 gay softball players that are slated to be in town on the weekend of January 19.
"Wait a second," I said to myself, "I get it - that's some kind of gay play on words. Soft-ball players...heh heh." I have a dirty side, you know; I'm not naive.

So, I emailed Fred and asked him, "What does it really mean when you talk about 'watching 500 gay SOFTBALL players'?" Is it some sort of underground party? A filthy orgy-esque kind of thing? How deviant, in our "family-oriented" city! Is it even legal?

Fred politely responded with: "It means there will be 500 people at a park participating in a softball game for charity."

Oh. OK.

Well, hopefully things will start to get crazy when Gay Days rolls around because in the words of the great Homer Simpson, "I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals FLAMING!"

The end of an era - No place left to watch ostrich racing in Orlando

Dang it! Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede has closed.

I think has done a great job of summing up this Orlando tragedy: "Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede abruptly closes. No word why, but it's probably because management were boobs and didn't keep abreast of the fact that they were accumulating huge mounds of debt."

Parton me, there is one other thing to that they've said ta-ta, what are they going to do with all the jugs of moonshine?

Photo from Orlando Sentinel/Gary Green

Monday, January 7, 2008

Live like royalty!

Who better to pick the most tacky fabulous place to stay in Orlando than Len Testa, co-author of "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World"? Len brings this to the table:

It's the Magic Castle Inn on 192 in Kissimmee. On the plus side, rates start at $39 and they usually have rooms available. On the downside, this fortress is right next door to Harry's House of Helitours, so the din of not-so-distant choppers makes it tough to grab a nap or a romantic afternoon quickie.

Back to the plus column - a very jovial staff. When Len asked if the pool was heated, the person at the front desk responded with "Yes, by the sun." She gets a lot of mileage out of that joke, I presume.

In the negative column - The castle is know...purple.

They do have a website, but I want to remind you that things (and people) always look better in online profiles, so don't get too worked up about the Magic Castle Inn, based on what you see here. This is the photo they've posted on their site to give you an idea of what their toilets look like. I have to say, they do look a lot like the bathrooms you find in all the best castles in Europe. The bidet is just out of view in this shot.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Who knew Mills Ave was such a hotbed for important stuff?!

First, we found out your friends have crabs there...then the discovery that a "lust cash transactor" was taking care of biz...and now word that the Mills/Nebraska area was once home to the World's Largest Board.
Here's the deal: The board used to be outside Mills Nebraska Lumber. Mills Nebraska Lumber is now called Mills Nebraska Door and Trim...and it's not located on Mills or Nebraska - it's on Regent Street (huh?) According to the receptionist, the board made the move with them to the new address. (I swear, I called!)

photo courtesy of World's Largest Roadside Attraction

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Receiving more accolades than the latest Coppola flick...

Rob sent me an email me that contained just three simple words...words that conjure up incredible images in the minds of all Central Floridians.


I was trying to figure out how to describe these guys, for those of you who aren't in the Orlando TV viewing area and haven't been lucky enough to bear witness to the owner being harnessed to the front of a sleigh during the holiday season. Suffice it to say, the brothers from Family Auto Mart are a visual product, best enjoyed on a late night bender.

Fortunately, their website is as tacky fabulous as their TV spots.

OK, so where to begin?

They have merchandise, a fan club (with photos from an autograph signing), a CD, a bio that reads longer than War and Peace (without a spell-checker), an instructional video (so you can do the "Family Man Dance" at home), and a great motto which is clearly the work of a fancy ad agency ("Kiss me in Kissimmee!"). Oh, and I think they sell cars, too.
In a style that can only be described as "the Family Man writing in the third person," the history of Family Auto Mart is chronicled in one looooooong page with phrases like, "in his wisdom, the Family Man knew..." and "everyone wants to know how he did it, how he came up with all the hilarious ideas!"


"His different ideas for TV and print advertising gave the Family Man notoriety and fame, not only in Melbourne or Central Florida, but also in the entire country"..."the response was phenomenal"..."cult following"..."fame"..."hilarious"..."shaping the future for this thriving business"..."made it what it is today"..."legendary"

The 30 minute infomercials are described as "The most exciting half-hour on television!" You decide